Designated Safeguarding Lead Training (Level 3 Safeguarding Children)

Also referred to as Designated Safeguarding Officer training

CPD Approved
Designated Safeguarding Lead (Level 3)
For me
For teams
  • 100% online training

  • Start when you like

  • Learn on any device (desktop, mobile or tablet)

  • Instant assessment and result

  • Train teams of all sizes

  • Bulk discounts starting at 10% off 10 courses

  • Learn on any device (desktop, mobile or tablet)

£65 +VAT

include vat

Includes a 10% discount for 10+ courses

As Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or Deputy DSL, you will be the first point of contact for safeguarding and child protection enquiries within your setting. You also have a responsibility to ensure that everyone in your organisation is following best safeguarding and child protection practices, so it’s essential that your knowledge is in-depth and up-to-date.

This online Designated Safeguarding Lead course will help you to understand the safeguarding and child protection process in more detail and teach you more about what the role involves. It explores how to effectively create a culture of safeguarding, raise awareness of safeguarding and child protection issues in your organisation and respond to concerns and make referrals. The course contains a variety of scenarios, reflections and exercises to enable you to apply your learning, and throughout the course, you will find a range of downloadable resources to help you review and develop the safeguarding and child protection procedures within your organisation.

This course was last audited on: 7th July 2023. It is updated to reflect Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023 Statutory Guidance.

  • Developed in collaboration with, and featuring video content from, safeguarding and child protection consultant and trainer, Joanna Nicolas
  • Written in line with Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 and Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2023 statutory guidance
  • Downloadable module summaries of key learning points
  • Accredited by CPD
  • Fully online course and assessment with no time limits
  • Full audio voiceover
  • Approximate duration: 3 hours
  • Earn 3 CPD points on completion
  • Same day digital certificate. Printed certificate posted the next working day

Aims of the course

At the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Understand and describe their roles and responsibilities as the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • Be clear about the difference between safeguarding and child protection.
  • Establish a safeguarding culture within their setting.
  • Ensure the policies and procedures in their setting sit within the legislative and statutory guidance safeguarding framework.
  • Understand the need to respond to all safeguarding and child protection concerns, including low-level concerns.
  • Ensure they and their setting respond appropriately to children's differing levels of need within the safeguarding framework and understand the local threshold document.
  • Understand what makes a good referral.
  • Understand and explain their role in any assessment process and/or interventions put in place following the assessment.
  • Describe the actions they and their setting need to take if you disagree with actions or decisions made.
  • Recognise when and if it is appropriate to share information and with whom, and understand how information should be recorded and stored.

Why should you take this course?

It is impossible to put an exact figure on how many children in the UK are suffering maltreatment at any one time, as it comes in many forms and many cases of child maltreatment go undetected and unreported. Child safeguarding practice reviews often highlight the many missed opportunities to address safeguarding and child protection risks.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the children under their care and every organisation working with children should have an appointed Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). It's essential that those with safeguarding responsibilities are suitably trained so they can effectively carry out their duties.

Designated Safeguarding Leads are responsible for developing and maintaining safeguarding standards and responding to concerns within their setting. This course will help a DSL to understand their role and how to establish a culture that enables everyone to fulfil their statutory safeguarding responsibilities.

In Partnership with Joanna Nicolas

Joanna Nicolas is an independent safeguarding consultant and trainer, a social worker by profession. Joanna is a co-opted Board member of Cafcass and a member of the Prince’s Trust Safeguarding Advisory Panel.

Joanna is a published author. She has been leading serious case reviews, now child safeguarding practice reviews, for 15 years, and undertakes assessments of individuals working in a position of trust with children. She reviews organisations’ safeguarding policies/procedures and culture. She was a core trainer for her Local Safeguarding Children Partnership for 15 years.

Joanna has worked in social care for nearly 30 years.


CPD Approved

All of our courses are accredited by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to universally accepted Continuing Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.

On successful completion of the course you will be sent a quality assured certificate through the post the next working day. This can be used to provide evidence for compliance and audit. 

This certificate does not have an expiry date. However, based on industry best practice guidelines, the recommended renewal period for this training is 2 years. We will print this recommended renewal date on your certificate.

Screenshots (click to view)

If you wish to try this course then register for a demo by clicking the 'interactive demo' button. You will be given the option to purchase and continue with your course at the end of your demo!

Interactive Demo

Course content

1Introduction to Designated Safeguarding Lead

Defining child protection and safeguarding, the importance of safeguarding training, child safeguarding practice reviews, key child protection and safeguarding legislation, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, responsibilities and your responsibilities.

2Creating a Culture of Safeguarding

What is a culture of safeguarding?, vigilance, a safe environment, effective relationships, policies and procedures, safer recruitment processes and case study - William Vahey.

3Raising Awareness of Child Protection and Safeguarding Issues

Raising awareness, types of maltreatment, other safeguarding issues, potential indicators of maltreatment, why children don’t disclose information, children with additional vulnerabilities, children’s responses to maltreatment, why adults don’t take action, training and further awareness raising.

4Responding to Concerns

Responding to concerns, how concerns might be raised, responding to a disclosure, responding to concerns raised, levels of need, universal services, early help, child in need, child protection concerns and what response is needed?

5Making a Referral and the Referral Process

Making and managing referrals, accessing further guidance and advice, making a Prevent referral, making a DBS referral, making a referral to the LADO, referrals to Children’s Social Care, what should you include in a referral?, responses from Children’s Social Care, the assessment process, Early Help Assessments, child in need assessments, child protection concerns and what response is needed?

6Working with Others

The key principles of multi-agency working, multi-agency working, resolving disagreements, the escalation process, case study - Telford, your continued involvement and support for staff.

7 Recording, Sharing and Holding Information

Recording information, what to record, why professionals don’t share information, sharing information, information sharing - best practice and record keeping.

8DSLs in Education

Optional Education Specific Choose Your Path Content (further sector-specific guidance, the DSL in education, policies and procedures, child on child sexual violence and harassment, safeguarding and the curriculum, the Prevent Duty and promoting British values, raising awareness, children with additional vulnerabilities, working with others and sharing, recording and holding information), your continued development and assessment.

 Download Course Overview (PDF)


The online assessment is taken on completion of the training material. You will be asked 25 multiple choice questions with a pass mark of 80%. The answers are marked automatically so you will instantly know whether you have passed. If you don't pass don't worry! You can take the test as many times as you need with no extra charge.

Who should take this course?

This Designated Safeguarding Lead course is suitable for anyone who works frequently with children and who holds a management, supervisory or designated child protection role in settings such as schools, universities, charities, places of worship, sports clubs, leisure centres and GP and healthcare practices.

The course is suitable for anyone wishing to understand the responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead, including those already in this position seeking further training and support, deputies and those assisting whoever holds the position, as well as those taking on a safeguarding lead for their organisation.

This Level 3 Safeguarding Children course is written at an advanced level and it is recommended you have some knowledge of safeguarding procedures before beginning the training. 

If you require an advanced level of safeguarding knowledge but you are not a Designated Safeguarding Lead/Officer or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, then you should take our Advanced Safeguarding Children (Level 2 Safeguarding) Training.

If you have no prior safeguarding knowledge or do not require an advanced course, you should take our Introduction to Safeguarding Children (Level 1 Safeguarding) Training. It is suitable for workers of all levels, including managers, supervisors, full-time staff, part-time staff and volunteers.

If you are looking to become a Designated Safeguarding Lead but you look after vulnerable adults in your care setting, our Level 3 Safeguarding Adults Training will be more appropriate.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Is this course suitable for Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads?

Yes. This online DSL course is suitable for Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads. As stated within Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) statutory guidance, any deputies should be trained to the same standard as the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Course reviews

How do our courses work?

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Purchase and payment

Add your chosen course to your basket. Once you’ve added all the courses you need, follow our step-by-step checkout process where you can purchase using Debit or Credit card.

For companies ordering 5 or more courses, you’ll also be given the option to pay by invoice.

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Course access

Once you’ve completed your purchase, look out for an email containing the details you’ll need to start your training. 

If you’ve purchased a single course, we’ll send you a unique course code. You can use this to add your training to an existing account, or create a brand new one. 

Purchased multiple courses for training your team? We’ll email you all the login details you need to distribute to your staff.

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If your delivery address is in the UK, we will send a hard copy of your certificate to your UK postal address once you’ve completed your course. Although we try to deliver your certificates as soon as possible, please allow 3-4 working days for delivery.

Don’t want to wait? You can instantly download your digital certificate as a PDF after course completion.

Additionally, please note that if your company is paying by invoice we can only issue certificates after your order has been fully paid.

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Continued support

Our friendly customer support team is happy to help at any stage of your training. Call us on 0333 006 7000 or contact, and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have. 

Additionally, have you seen our help page? It’s full of useful information to help guide you through your training experience.